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Andrew Stevens

Contributing Writer with the 148Apps Network since February 11, 2013

I'm a husband, writer, photographer, weather geek, aviation nut, sports dude, achievement addict, and coffee connoisseur. I do love a nice cup of coffee. Well, two cups. OK, an entire pot! It helps fuel my passion for writing. I also love shoot’em up titles and challenging for top positions on leaderboards. I’m an all-around gamer who owns too many consoles and handhelds. Rez HD is the best game ever. Ghost Recon is my favorite series.

Andrew is not currently writing for the 148Apps Network.

Withings has unveiled a revamped version of its Smart Blood Pressure Monitor by announcing a new wireless version of the device. Users only need to wrap the new Bluetooth enabled device around their arm and control the rest through the iPhone app where it’ll also save and display the results of each test. The device will be available “soon” for $129.95.

“Our device is a medical device, but we’ve made it cool and fashionable! Patients don’t feel the need to hide it away and, yet, they get to share highly accurate results with their physician. Designing attractive and simple-to-use devices is the only way the connected health revolution can become a reality.” said Cédric Hutchings, co-founder of Withings, in a press release.

withings

via: Withings

Assassin’s Creed Pirates Adds a New Area to Explore, Campaign Mission, and Side Quests in Latest Update

Posted by on January 10th, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Assassin’s Creed Pirates receives its first update that offers players new missions, achievements, and areas to explore. The new map (Nassau) is said to be the most difficult, and the update also adds an increased difficulty to the overall as well as and new defense, dodge, and counterattack capabilities. In addition to the new campaign mission, players can also journey through 10 new side quests.

acpirates

via: Our Review

Octofire 8 Port Turbo Smart from Skiva Technologies is a USB charger that comes equipped with eight ports to allow users to simultaneously charge eight different devices at once without missing a beat. It comes with safety features to protect against overcharge, over-voltage, overheat, and short circuit, and it’s capable of charging smartphones, tablets, GPS, Bluetooth headsets, and any other USB device.

Octofire is wrapping up its Kickstarter campaign where it has blown past its target goal of $20,000 by receiving more than $70,000 from over 1,000 backers.

via: Kickstarter

Amoebattle Goes on Sale for the First Time Ever, Now Available for $1.99

Posted by on January 10th, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Real-time strategy title, Amoebattle, is now on sale for the first time ever. Players can pick up the game for $1.99, for a limited time only.

In our review, Rob Rich said, “Even though I’m not too fond of the trial-and-error gameplay of the bulk of the stages, there’s just too much to love about Amoebattle for me to care. It’s a unique spin on a classic genre, and one that’s more than worth any interested iOS gamer’s time.”

via: Our Review

buddhify 2 Brings Meditation to the App Store with 40 Guided Audio Tracks to Use During the Day

Posted by on January 9th, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

buddhify 2 is an app that helps teach users mindful meditation while on the go. It features many custom meditations to practice throughout 14 different sections of the day that include traveling, while online, work breaks, preparing for sleep, and more. The app comes with over 40 guided audio tracks that run from 5 to 20 minutes long and stats for users to track their usage and progression.

buddhify

After 5 years running, the Tap Tap Revenge games are coming to an end. In a Facebook post on the Tap Tap Revenge page, it’s said that “it no longer makes sense for us to maintain the Tap Tap franchise” due to the changing mobile and music markets. The games have been removed from the App Store and all premium content has been taken down. The servers are also scheduled to be shut down on February 5th.

Tap Tap Revenge was originally created by Tapulous which was absorbed into Disney Mobile in July, 2010. Tap Tap Revenge users will continue to be able to play any tracks that are available on their device. However, after February 5th, they will no longer be able to restore any of their previously purchased songs.

A storied franchise, one of the first games release for the iPhone, even before there was an App Store is no more. Take a look below at the original trailer for Tap Tap Revenge, now five years old.

via: Tap Tap Revenge Facebook Page source: Twitter

The Independent Games Festival (IGF) announced its finalists for the 2014 IGF Awards, with over 30 independent game nominations from titles released in the past year. The popular iOS title, Device 6, leads the way with multiple nominations that include Excellence in Visual Art, Excellence in Narrative, and Excellence in Audio.

Users can vote for the IGF Audience Award beginning February 18. The main IGF Awards take place on March 19 at the San Francisco Moscone Convention Center. Below you can find the full list of finalists for the 2014 Independent Games Festival.

DEVICE_6_02_iphone5DEVICE_6_06_iphone5

Excellence In Visual Art
DEVICE 6 (Simogo)
Gorogoa (Jason Roberts)
The Banner Saga (Stoic)
Perfect Stride (Arcane Kids)
Samorost3 (Amanita Design)
Drei (Etter)

Excellence In Narrative
The Yawhg (Damian Sommer & Emily Carroll)
Paralect (Paralect Team)
DEVICE 6 (Simogo)
Dominique Pamplemousse in “It’s All Over Once the Fat Lady
Sings!”(Deirdra Kiai Productions)
The Stanley Parable (Galactic Cafe)
Papers, Please (Lucas Pope)

Excellence In Design
TowerFall Ascension (Matt Thorson)
868-HACK (Michael Brough)
Mushroom 11 (Untame)
Papers, Please (Lucas Pope)
Don’t Starve (Klei Entertainment)
Crypt of The NecroDancer (Brace Yourself Games)

Excellence In Audio
Samorost3 (Amanita Design)
Dominique Pamplemousse in “It’s All Over Once the Fat Lady
Sings!”(Deirdra Kiai Productions)
The Stanley Parable (Galactic Cafe)
Crypt of the NecroDancer (Brace Yourself Games)
DEVICE 6 (Simogo)
The Yawhg (Damian Sommer & Emily Carroll)

Nuovo Award
Dominique Pamplemousse in “It’s All Over Once the Fat Lady
Sings!”(Deirdra Kiai Productions)
Luxuria Superbia (Tale of Tales)
Extrasolar (Lazy 8 Studios)
Perfect Woman (Peter Lu and Lea Schönfelder)
SoundSelf (Robin Arnott)
Papers, Please (Lucas Pope)
Save the Date (Paper Dino Software)
Corrypt (Michael Brough)

Seumas McNally Grand Prize ($30,000 Grand Prize)
The Stanley Parable (Galactic Cafe)
Don’t Starve (Klei Entertainment)
Jazzpunk (Necrophone Games)
Papers, Please (Lucas Pope)
DEVICE 6 (Simogo)
Dominique Pamplemousse in “It’s All Over Once the Fat Lady
Sings!”(Deirdra Kiai Productions)

via: IGF

Asphalt 8: Airborne gets a sporty new look in its latest update with the addition of the LaFerrari, 2014 Pagani Huayra, and Lykan HyperSport. Daily Bonuses and Multiplayer Win Streaks also provide a bigger payout as the more you play and win, the bigger the bonuses and rewards you’ll receive.

A8_screen_2048x1536_EN_01

via: Our Review

Archangel – Cast Spells in 30 Levels by Drawling Symbols in This Action-Filled Title

Posted by on January 9th, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Fantasy-themed Archangel releases today on the App Store with 30 action-filled levels. It offers gamers the ability to cast spells with their fingertips as they can draw symbols on the screen while engaging in a fight between good and evil.

“Archangel is the first of a number of ‘core’ releases from our new publishing division, Unity Games,” said Oren Tversky, VP of Unity Games. “With a combination of high fidelity AAA-quality visuals and a streamlined combat system that really packs a punch, we’re excited to add Archangel to our portfolio this year.”

Features
~ Embody the Angel of justice and retribution – a celestial being of certain conviction driven by moral absolutes.
~ A unique touch control system allows you to inflict swift and unrelenting attacks and those foolish enough to defy you.
~ Crush, freeze, pound, cut, immolate and even resurrect fallen foes to fight against their fellow sinners.
~ 30 levels of intense, martial and spell-casting action.
~ Wager hard-earned spoils at the end of each level for even more treasure—or risk losing it all.

Game Insight, creators of the The Tribez, have announced that they’re creating a spin-off of its city-building title. The Tribez & Castlez is the name and it’s expected to release sometime in early 2014. Players are tasked with building magical towers that can protect their people from evil creatures, all while discovering ancient ruins of castles, guarded dungeons, and wizard towers.

EMPIRE: The Deck Building Strategy Game Goes on Sale for $0.99 Until January 12

Posted by on January 9th, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

EMPIRE: The Deck Building Strategy Game is now on sale, dropping its original $2.99 price tag to $0.99. People can take advantage of this sale from now until January 12.

In our review, Campbell Bird said, “All of these promised features don’t change the fact that the current version of Empire is a really tight amalgamation of a strategy game. It simply delivers on all fronts, and is as compelling as it is challenging; which is to say extremely.”

via: Our Review

Megamassive HD Brings its Physics-Based Gameplay to the iPad

Posted by on January 9th, 2014
iPad Only App - Designed for iPad

Megamassive HD makes its way to the iPad after originally releasing on the iPhone only. This title offers physics gameplay where players slide, fly, and bounce their character through worlds as fast as they can to earn the most stars possible. Players can purchase the game for $2.99 and begin making their way through over 50 hand-drawn levels.

MegamassiveHD

Super Stickman Golf 2 is Free for Today Only, Gets Updated with New Ball Effects and Four New Courses

Posted by on January 9th, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Super Stickman Golf 2 has gotten a new update and is now available for free for today only. The update adds a new anti-gravity space course, new ball effects, and an additional four courses that include Super Meat Land. The update also provides users with the ability to speak with opponents while engaged in turn-based games.

via: Our Review

Distimo released their numbers for the complete month of December – sharing the top 5 free apps, paid apps, and grossing apps for the month. With that also came the yearly analysis for the top 10 grossing apps for the year. Supercell’s Clash of Clans came out on top as the number one global top grossing app on the App Store. This left Candy Crush Saga sitting in second and Supercell’s other popular title, Hay Day, in third.

Credit: Distimo

Image Credit: Distimo

source: Distimo

Beddit scales up the manufacturing of its sleep sensor and wellness app; a device that tracks and analyzes a users sleep quality, heart rate, breathing rhythm, movements, snoring, and bedroom noise. The wireless sensor is placed underneath a user’s bed and sends the data through Bluetooth to the app. In the morning, users are able to view their sleep quality and receive personalized tips on how they can improve their sleeping time.

Beddit is available for preorder on the official website for $149, and will be available in February.

beddit

via: Beddit

KIA Game On Lets Users Return Serves from Tennis Star Sam Groth for Chance to Win a Kia Cerato Koup Turbo

Posted by on January 8th, 2014
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

KIA Game On lets users play a quick game of tennis against Australian player Sam Groth. By opening the app, players are required to return six different serves from the tennis star when viewing the serves on a television advertisement, online, or at outdoor locations. By swinging the phone at the ideal time, players earn entries to win a Kia Cerato Koup Turbo. The more accurate the swing, along with speed and timing, the more entries each player gets.

KiaGameOn

Game On Tennis features:
- Return a serve from Australian tennis star, Sam Groth – who has recorded the world’s fastest tennis serve.
- Download Kia wallpapers for your favourite Kia concept cars
- Watch videos of your favourite Kia moments
- Enter to win a Kia Cerato Koup Turbo car

via: Kia Game On

Pic Scanner Updates to Version 2.0, Adds New Leveling Tool and Integrates with Google+ and Dropbox

Posted by on January 8th, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Pic Scanner gets its 2.0 update that adds a new ability to scan, crop, and save 3-4 photos simultaneously, and provides users with a new leveling tool. The update also supports higher resolution images as well as integration with Google+ and Dropbox. Users can even download a trial version to test the app before purchasing it for $2.99.

BRV-Bank is a new intelligent portable backup battery with Bluetooth technology from Braven. It’s a water-resistant and shock-proof power bank that wirelessly connects with an app that allows users to monitor battery levels, start and stop charging devices, and locate the device from a smartphone or tablet.

“The BRV-Bank is built for the outdoors and emergency preparedness with the ability to withstand anything Mother Nature throws at it,” said Andy Fathollahi, Chief Executive at BRAVEN, in a press release. “Users can now locate their backup battery, turn it on and off remotely and monitor the battery level.”

brvbank

iZZi Gadgets announced the new iZZi Slim at this year’s CES, which attaches a 5-in-1 lens to an iPhone. People can use one finger to rotate through each lens to discover the ideal selection for the photograph they want. They can choose from a fisheye, 2X telephoto, 0.67x wide-angle, macro, and the original iPhone lens.

IMG_3354_white_with_lens_cover

Engadget reports on a tiny 1 inch sized robot that loves moving on top of smartphones and tablets, and it recognizes codes, lights, patterns, and the surface that it’s on. The Ozobot is intended for gameplay, but not much else is known besides what’s mentioned in the press release that Engadget quoted.

“A pocket-sized robot with the ability to operate on physical and digital platforms, Ozobot melds the worlds of robotics and gaming into one, making it distinctly playful and uniquely creative.”

ozobot-on-ipad-mini

source: Engadget

Matrix Audio has announced The Qube 2 at CES; the latest addition to its line of compact speakers that weighs in at half a pound. It features an aluminum shell that holds 2×3 watt speakers for strong sound, and also comes with 8 hours of battery life and a bluetooth range of up to 30 feet. The device is available to order for $79.99.

“Our goal was to create a speaker that is truly portable” said Adel Babataher, Matrix Audio CEO and Founder, in a press release. “We researched a lot of mini speakers that claimed to be mobile yet they could not fit comfortably into a purse or cup holder. With the Qube², users can easily toss the speaker into their pockets and enjoy great sound anywhere.”

qube2

2013-wrapp-up-header

One year after another, everyone always gets consumed with the latest and greatest games. People are usually focused on what’s next, and that was the case for me as well in most situations. However, after not giving much appreciation to shmups on iOS, my mind was changed after reviewing Danmaku Unlimited 2 earlier this year. All of a sudden I didn’t mind the idea of using my finger to play shmups rather than my previously preferred method of a console controller. This year, being focused on the present also reminded me of previously-released games and making a journey into familiar addictions; but this time on iOS.

IMG_0098IMG_0103One of the best things about shooters is that they usually come with a good scoring system for the leaderboards. I love shooters, so I am greatly addicted to high score runs and placing myself near the top of the rankings. So naturally with my new found love for shooters on iOS came an even bigger addiction to placing as high of a score as possible on Game Center leaderboards. All of a sudden I wasn’t just reviewing games like Danmaku Unlimited 2, Plasma Sky, and Liberation Maiden; I was learning to master them by earning a respectable placement on the leaderboards and then sharing that with friends.

I pretty much did my best to put up a quality time or score on all games I reviewed this year that came with a leaderboard. 2013 was also a year of Game Center addiction.

Continue reading 148Apps 2013 wrAPP-Up – A Year of Finding Familiar Addictions on iOS »

Game Insight released the first trailer for its upcoming title Running Shadow, a game that looks to mix endless running with the depth of a fantasy style RPG. The trailer takes a look at the traps, dungeons, and other environments that players will deal with while running with over 20 characters. Expect the game to release sometime in early 2014.

The Sandbox Gets a Retro Style Update with 12 New Levels and 8 New Elements, Lets Users Upload Video Replays

Posted by on December 18th, 2013
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

The Sandbox goes retro in its latest update that brings 12 new levels featuring past video games. The update also lets users create their own retro game by using 8 new elements like the Laser Bike, Intelli Bike, Sneaker, Shooter, Game Wall, Game Points, Area Multi, and Attacker. It also adds two new blueprints for the holiday season (a Christmas Tree and Christmas Gifts), and new social features that let users record video replays and share them straight to YouTube.

via: Our Review

Oggl has been updated with a brand-new home screen that features a grid of all the content users follow. It also adds the ability to create photo collections for grouping images, discovering new photos and collections, and share photos and profiles through email or social media. The update even improved on the profiles with expanded bios and links to the web.

oggl

via: Our Review

Mailbox Updated to Support Users with iCloud and Yahoo Email Accounts

Posted by on December 18th, 2013
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Mailbox received a new update that adds support for users with iCloud and Yahoo email accounts, as well as a new sleek design to go with the look and feel of iOS 7. It also adds background syncing and options to disable the “help me get to zero” banner and the swipe to open drawer ability.

via: Our Review

Walking Dead: The Game – Season 2′s First Episode Arrives on the App Store for $4.99

Posted by on December 18th, 2013
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Walking Dead: The Game – Season 2 has arrived! TellTale Games released the first episode for season 2 of its popular Walking Dead episodic video game series. Players take the role of Clementine where they’ll meet new survivors, discover new locations, and make decisions that come with consequences throughout the five episode season. Players can pick up the first episode today for $4.99 and purchase the episode 2 multi-pack, containing episodes 2-5, for 25% off its regular price.

Glu Mobile is set to release it’s free-to-play RoboCop game, which is based on the upcoming movie reboot, in January 2014. The title previously soft launched back in October, where players were looking at a third-person shooter that had cover-to-cover elements while avoiding snipers, and they were also tasked with rescuing hostages and battling enemy robots from the movie. Users also had the opportunity to call in drone strikers, perform super attacks, and use heat vision to find weak points.

RoboCop_01

source: Pocket Gamer

Angry Birds Star Wars – The Final Battle Begins in an Update With 30 New Levels and the Unmasking of Lard Vader

Posted by on December 18th, 2013
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

Angry Birds Star Wars and Angry Birds Star Wars HD enters its final battle against the Pig Empire in a conclusion that feature 30 new levels. The update takes players inside the Death Star as they take on Lard Vader and the Emperor in a boss fight, and players will even find out who’s behind the mask of Lard Vader.

via: Our Review

MeteoEarth Update Lets People Use the App in New Offline Mode, With No Internet Connection Required

Posted by on December 18th, 2013
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

MeteoEarth has received an update that allows users to download data and continue to use the app in the new offline mode. The update also comes with enhanced visuals on the temperature and precipitation maps, integrated webcams, and the ability to share screenshots on Twitter and Facebook.

meteoearth

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